Tension Rise with Press Secretaries

Delani English

On March 2 of 2021, Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, took questions on Fox news and got the question of, “Your predecessor, Kayleigh McEnany, has just signed on as a Fox News contributor. [I am] wondering if you have any good wishes for her, her advice and if she does have a show if you would be willing to go on?”


Not taken by surprise with the question, Psaki simply replied, “Sure. I’ve done Fox News Sunday twice now. I’m happy to go on a range of shows. I will say that I knew Kayleigh a little bit, not well. I met her when we were both CNN contributors, and we did a few shows— not sure how many— together. Like many Americans, we disagree on political issues. But we talked about our families, our spouses, sports and all sorts of things in the green room. I certainly wish her the best in her future endeavors.” 


The following day on Fox & Friends, Kayleigh McEnany discussed Psaki’s famous “circle back” statement with other reporters. McEnany stated that she wishes Psaki the best and that “it is a tough job, but with that being said, we took great pains in our administration to do hours and hours of research beforehand, sometimes even days. I always knew where my boss stood. Unlike other press secretaries who maybe didn’t have walk-in privileges, I could walk-in at any time… I always knew where his head was at, so I didn’t have to do a ton of circling back because President Trump gave a lot of access to me.” 


It was later discussed in the session that Psaki might not be on the same level as President Biden because there haven’t been many discussions or meetings between the two to go over research or questions. But in both of these discussions, both secretaries showed empathy towards each other and understanding. Maybe here soon, there will be a discussion piece between the two.